Who is Alan Dix?
Alan is a Professor at the HCI Centre, University of Birmingham and Senior Research Scientist at Talis based in Birmingham, but, when not in Birmingham or elsewhere lives in Tiree a remote island off the west coast of Scotland. He has long hair, a beard and is the son of a carpenter, but thereafter all pretensions to saintliness end.
Alan began his career as a bearded mathematician at Cambridge, worked as a research scientist at the National Institute of Agricultural Engineering (lots of brightly painted tractors), a Cobol programmer for Cumbria County Council (lots of beige and brown ICL mainframes), then in 1984, thanks to Alvey, he became a bearded computer scientist. Since entering academia he worked for almost 10 years at York University before moving to become a Reader at Huddersfield in 1994, an Associate Dean of the School of Computing at Staffordshire University for two years (lots of meetings) and then Professor of Computing at Lancaster University. During all this, Alan was one of the founders and directors of two dotcom companies, aQtive (1998) and vfridge (2000), which, between them, attracted £850,000 of venture capital funding, and he is also a director of LUBEL, the Lancaster University commercial exploitation company. In September 2010 he started working for Talis an education and semantic web company who, inter alia, provide the platform underlying the BBC and UK data.gov.uk open data initiatives and reading list software used by more than 1/3 of UK universities.
As well as numerous articles on many aspects of human–computer interaction and related areas, Alan has written and edited several books including a big textbook on Human-Computer Interaction and a smaller textbook on Artificial Intelligence. He is currently completing a new book TouchIT on physicality and design.
His interests are eclectic: formalisation and design, physicality and digitality, the economics of information, structure and creativity, and the modelling of dreams. He and a colleague have developed technology for autonomous pixels that can be configured in turn any surface or space into a two or three dimensional display; this is about to go into commercial production and, it is hoped, will transform the nocturnal appearance of towns and cities across the world.
About the course
It is Free. It is Open. It is Online. Most importantly, its about Human Computer Interaction (HCI).
Whether you are a student, or a professional, this course will aim to introduce you to a number of topics related to HCI. Alan will be providing a series of video lectures supported by key reading materials and exercises, delivered fully online. Some of the topics Alan is hoping to cover on this course are:
- Introduction to interaction design
- Emotion and Experience
- Introduction to information visualisation
- Formal methods in HCI
- User interface software architecture
- Creativity and innovation
- Designing for user (adoption and appropriation)
The course is now live. Follow the link below to get started!